February 28, 2018

February is Spay and Neuter Month

Author: Lynn Gricus

Spay And Neuter Month

During the warm months of spring and summer, there is a large overpopulation of puppies and kittens in animal shelters. Spaying or neutering pets helps to keep these numbers manageable and has some health benefits as well. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider this option for your pet.

Male dogs can smell female dogs in heat from quite a distance, which can result in unwanted pregnancies if that male dog is bound and determined to find the female. Additionally, dangerous situations may arise when several males approach a female dog at the same time.

Pyometras are uterine infections that can be expensive and life-threatening. Spaying can prevent this development if all ovarian tissue is removed. After spaying, hormonal urges are lessened, if not entirely eliminated, preventing reproductive frustration and often a stabilization of temperament. Hair loss, skin problems, and other hormone-related conditions can be greatly reduced as well. A spayed female dog does not eliminate bloody discharge, which can be messy and require cumbersome absorbent materials.

If a dog or cat is spayed before the first heat, it significantly prevents the development of breast cancer when the animal is older. In male animals, prostate and testicular cancers are all but eliminated, and hormone-driven aggression, spraying and marking behavior are effectively reduced.

Keep in mind, a ovariohysterectomy (spay) is considered major abdominal surgery and its risks should be discussed with your pet’s veterinarian. Complications may include anesthesia challenges, bleeding, infection, or incision site healing issues. There is a higher risk of these challenges in overweight or older animals.

February 28th is World Spay Day, a yearly campaign by the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International. If you haven’t considered spaying or neutering your pet, make this the year you consider the benefits so that your pet can enjoy a healthier life.

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